Want to avoid vaginal infections?
Most women have experienced a vaginal infection at some point or another in their life. If you’ve ever found yourself squirming in your seat, embarrassed by a strong odor or running to the bathroom to get in a good scratch, we don’t need to tell you how uncomfortable they can be. No woman wants to go through a vaginal infection, and the good news is that, in the vast majority of cases, they are very preventable. In Part 1 of Your Guide to Vaginal Infections, we went over the most common types of vaginal infections. Today, we’ll be touching on what causes these infections, and what you can do to prevent them.
What causes vaginal infections?
As we mentioned in our last blog, the vagina is the home to a whole host of bacteria and yeast, which help to create a natural, healthy balance. When that balance is off for any reason, it makes you susceptible to developing an infection. But, what disturbs that healthy vaginal balance?
- Douches – You should never ever douche, unless, of course, your doctor tells you to. Douching kills the good bacteria, making way for bacteria that can cause infections.
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics can wipe out the bacteria in the vagina that helps to stop the overgrowth of candida organisms, which are what cause yeast infections. This is why some women develop yeast infections after taking antibiotics for an unrelated condition, like strep throat.
- Diabetes – Diabetes helps to set the stage in the vagina for optimal fungal growth. It also raises the sugar content, as well as the pH level, in the vagina, which increases the risk of a yeast infection.
- Pregnancy – Believe it or not, pregnancy increases the risk of yeast infections in the exact same way that diabetes does.
- Birth Control – If you’re taking a birth control pill that contains estrogen, it’s important to be aware that it can put you at a higher risk for developing an infection. This is because the estrogen changes the vaginal environment, making it ideal for fungus growth.
- Restrictive, Non-Breathable Underwear – As crazy it as it might seem, wearing the wrong kind of underwear can actually put you at a higher risk of developing an infection. If your underwear is too tight and traps in moisture, it encourages the growth of yeast and bacteria.
- Vaginal Scratches – Finally, if inserting a tampon or a passionate night has left you with scratches or other minor vaginal injuries, it can increase your risk of developing an infection.
What can you do to prevent vaginal infections?
Preventing most vaginal infections is easy; all you really have to do is avoid the many things that can cause them. While you can certainly wear looser, more breathable underwear and avoid douching, however, you can’t avoid every cause, especially those relating to pregnancy and diabetes. In those cases, it’s important to talk to your doctor!
Whether you’re looking for treatment for an infection or you have questions or concerns about any of the information in our blog, contact us! We’re happy to help.